Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh Zola how I love thee, but you're bringing me down

It took me a little more than a month to finish reading L'Assommoir by Emile Zola. Life in general got in the way of my reading time, plus starting the semester while moving is not conducive to leisurely reading.

L'Assommoir was fantastic. If you want to read about the seamier side of Parisian life in the 19th century then this book is for you. This novel was extremely controversial when it came out, accusations of pornography were rampant from the critics at the time. Zola is a writer that tells it like it is, there is no sugar coating in a Zola novel. The effects of alcoholism on the working class was of great interest to Zola. As the drinking of the characters becomes heavier, the quicker the downfall of each character. I found myself feeling this downward spiral physically while reading the novel. The filth, squalor, and hunger of the characters were almost too much to bear at the end. I felt horribly for Gervaise, the main character. I can't wait to read Nana, about Gervaise's daughter, but I think I need something slightly less depressing for now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Books!

These are the last batch of books I recently purchased. I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy books for a while seeing as I had recently purchased books on Amazon, but Barnes and Noble was having a fantastic sale on their bargain books. I couldn't pass up the chance to buy these! The total cost for all twelve books was $42...who can say no to that?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tissues Please!

Truman Capote made me cry. Please read "A Christmas Memory" and you'll see why. A tissue is definitely needed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Reading

This is my tentative summer reading list:
  • Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
  • Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  • The Masterpiece by Emile Zola
  • L'Assomoir by Emile Zola
  • The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera (already started this one)
  • Lighthousekeeping by Jeannette Winterson
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Of course this list may change as the summer goes on. I started reading the Kundera novel on Wednesday. I'm enjoying this one immensely so far. I love Kundera's style of writing. This is the third Kundera novel I've read and I have to say he is becoming a favorite.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Late to Teen Angst or Why I have Decided to Read Catcher in the Rye

Amazingly, I have never read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I am thirty-something years old, one would think this is a book I would have already read by now. I compare it to someone of my generation who was never watched E.T.. I am guilty of this as well. I am well past the age of teen angst, but I thought it would be interesting to read Catcher in the Rye at this point in my life. I don't expect it to be life changing, as it would have been had I read it as a teenager, but I hope it somehow brings my younger self back to me.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Read

I finished reading this last night. I started reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" last week and it was slow going. I kept wondering what all of the fuss was about. Boy was I proven wrong. This novel exploded into something more by part three. I had to force myself to go to sleep at one o'clock in the morning Thursday night as I had to wake up at 5:30 to go to work. It's been some time since I have found myself wanting to forgo sleep in order to finish reading a novel.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Today I...

  • watched five episodes of Mad Men in a row from season 1
  • came to the realization that I desperately want a telephone bench
  • finished reading Lynn Barber's memoir An Education
  • watched a lovely video from Regina Spektor "Somedays"
  • decided to get bangs
  • also decided to purchase a Nikon DSLR, perhaps a D5000
  • pondering what to read next...perhaps I will read Gogol for the first time
  • have spent entirely too much time on the interwebs

From Lynn Barber's An Education

My knowledge of the world was based on Shakespeare, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes and none of them had a word to say about living on a kibbutz or making Molotov cocktails.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia is a novel about the after effects of the Cuban revolution on three generations of women in the Del Pino family. The story revolves mainly around Celia del Pino, her two daughters Lourdes and Felicia, and her granddaughter Pilar. The story takes place over several years, beginning in 1972 and ending in 1980. Each woman is affected by the revolution in different ways. Celia's belief in the revolution and Communism causes further estrangement from her and her daughter Lourdes, who voluntarily goes into exile with her husband and daughter Pilar. Lourdes despises the ideals of the revolution and feels that her mother has abandoned her once again. Felicia remains in Cuba with her mother, but suffers moments of mental instability throughout the novel. Felicia is indifferent to the ideals of Castro's revolution. Memory, nostalgia, and identity are the major themes explored in Dreaming in Cuban. The differences between mother and daughter and the political events that separate families, both geographically and emotionally, are the foundation for this novel. The language in this novel is so sensual. I loved the descriptions of the island, I could almost feel the heat of the Cuban sun on my face.

As a child of Cuban parents, I found myself enthralled by the history of Cuba. I'm ashamed to say this, but I don't know very much about the country of my heritage. I only know very basic historical facts about Cuba. I definitely need to read up on my Cuban history.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Post of 2010

It's a new year and time for resolutions. I have resolved to write here more often. I need to practice writing. Sometimes I feel that the words are stuck with nowhere to go. I know what I want to say but the words just don't want to come out. I'm too used to writing in technical terms, direct and specific. I know I can write the same way about literature, but that's not how I want to write. I want to be more descriptive, but it's difficult when the words get lost.